Another long rain delay made for a miserable start Wednesday for Texas Tech at the College World Series.
The Red Raiders never recovered in falling to their first loss of the double-elimination tournament.
Arkansas took advantage of Texas Tech miscues and continued to play power baseball in a 7-4 victory Wednesday in a game that was delayed nearly 3½ hours.
Rainy conditions at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., affected play for a third straight day. But considering how Texas Tech started, the Red Raiders probably would have preferred never coming to the ballpark if they could have avoided it.
The loss means the Red Raiders (45-19) will have to win three consecutive games to qualify for the best-of-three finals next week.
It turned around Texas Tech’s recent mojo. The Red Raiders claimed their first victory in a College World Series opener in school history by beating defending national champion Florida on Sunday night.
But their second game wasn’t anything like that historic first contest in Omaha.
Texas Tech offense sputters again against Arkansas
Texas Tech produced a .311 team batting average before Wednesday. The Red Raiders produced only 6 hits and had a team batting average of .188 in the loss against Arkansas.
After a leadoff single by Josh Holt to start for Texas Tech in the first, starting pitcher Kacey Murphy didn’t allow another Texas Tech hit until Brian Klein’s two-out, two-run double in the fifth inning. That hit accounted for all of Texas Tech’s scoring
Texas Tech’s struggles had started before that. Outfielders Cody Farhat and Gabe Holt collided in what should have been the final out of the Razorbacks’ first. Instead, Dominic Fletcher reached on a two-run double and the Razorbacks never trailed afterwards.
Murphy was knocked out of the game on Klein’s hit, costing him a chance at the win. He allowed 2 hits in 4⅔ innings, walking 2 and striking out 7 in an 80-pitch effort.
The Red Raiders will hook up in a rematch Thursday night with the No. 1 seeded Gators, who eliminated Texas on Tuesday.
Arkansas (46-19) has played as well as any team in the tournament to date.
Home runs from Dominic Fletcher and Jared Gates continued a power surge that has helped the Razorbacks blast a school-record 97 homers this season.
Fletcher hammered the Red Raiders throughout the game, going 4 for 4 with a double, homer and 4 RBI. He is 6 for 9 so far in the College World Series.
The win on Wednesday continued Arkansas’ mastery of Texas Tech this season. The Razorbacks claimed a 5-1 triumph over the Red Raiders on April 24. In that game, Arkansas notched a season-high 17 strikeouts, including a career-best 10 from reliever Barrett Loseke.
After Murphy was pulled in the Texas Tech fifth, Loseke picked up where he left off in his first appearance against the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech produced only two hits against Loseke in 3 innings, striking out 5.
The Red Raiders rallied for 2 runs in the ninth inning on Michael Davis’ run-scoring double and an RBI-single by Farhat against Arkansas closer Matt Cronin. But the rally was too little, too late.